ProView – Mountain Hardwear Keele Grid Hoody
As a big fan of grid-style mid-layers, I was psyched at the opportunity to review Mountain Hardwear’s Keele Grid Full Zip Hoody. I had high expectations for the Keele and it did not disappoint.
Through my use of the Keele hoody, I found it versatile across a wide range of conditions, places, and experiences. This includes climbing in Arizona during a rainstorm, traveling to South Carolina for a wedding, and doing high-angle rescue training in Washington. The Keely has been an exceptional addition to my layering system while on the rocks or on the town.
Mountain Hardwear Keele Grid Hoody
Product Description: The next evolution of an invention that's been brilliant from the start, the Keele™ Grid Hoody takes the durable doubleweave this family style is known for and adds a brushed grid backer to draw moisture away from your skin as you sweat. Helping maintain comfort from the inside out, even as you move beyond your comfort zone, this fabrication ensures peace of mind from the get-go, using bluesign®-approved recycled materials and non-toxic waterproofing that's as gentle on the environment as it is on you.
Offer price: $150 MSRP
The Keele Grid Full Zip Hoody is destined to become your favorite mid-layer for a bounty of adventures. I found it fit true to size and performed excellent in a variety of conditions.
- Comfortable double weave fabric with a brushed back grid interior
- Warm when wet
- DWR treated
- Three piece hood fits over climbing helmet
- No Chest Pocket
I normally wear a men’s large when it comes to shirts and jackets. While I can’t speak to other sizes, the men’s large Keele fits me perfectly. It has a great range of motion and the brushed back grid interior is soft and comfortable. The hood is also large enough to slide over a climbing helmet but not so large that you look like a sith lord when not using a helmet. Hood size is normally one of my first complaints when it comes to a hoodie or jacket, so I’m excited that Mountain Hardwear nailed the three-piece hood on the Keele.
While I think the Keele could be offered in a wider range of colors, I love the black spruce shade that I have and think it looks great when climbing or out and about. While I did not wear it to a wedding, I did wear it to the rehearsal dinner and thought it looked great.
The brushed back grid interior is my favorite feature of the Keele. It is so comfortable and also does a pretty good job wicking moisture away. All the zippers on the jacket work great and feel durable, especially the full front zipper. The pocket zippers also open from top to bottom, making them friendlier to use while wearing a harness. The only feature I think the Keele lacks is a chest pocket, being my only critique of the Keele.
Clocking in at 490 grams, the Keele is at the higher end of weight for a solid mid-layer and takes up about as much space as a 1 liter Nalgene in my pack. For reference, the tech face R1 from Patagonia is 391 grams. While the Keele is not the lightest mid-layer out there, I think its performance and ruggedness make up for the extra weight.
When it comes to the Keele’s performance I have no complaints. It has been adequately water resistant with its PFC-free DWR coating and has kept me warm even when it does eventually become waterlogged in the rain. It has done a good job keeping the wind out while still being fairly breathable. I have found the Keele is a little less breathable than something like the R1, but it is also thicker and in my opinion a little bit warmer. However, for a little bit heavier mid-layer I have found it to breathe relatively well while always keeping me warm.
After using the Keele for a month, I haven’t had any durability issues and it seems expertly constructed. After climbing with it a few times some small frays developed from rubbing against rock, but these have been minimal and I consider that normal wear for climbing. I can’t speak to the Keele’s long term durability, but after a month of use, I believe it will last many seasons to come.
Friendliness to the Earth
Mountain Hardware has constructed the Keele out of recycled polyester and uses non-toxic, PFC-free DWR treatment. The shell fabric is bluesign approved giving me peace of mind that the material has been ethically sourced.
The Final Word
The Keele Grid Full Zip Hoody is a great choice for the vast variety of outdoor endeavors. It has kept me warm in numerous conditions and allowed me to move freely while climbing and hiking. While the Keele is heavier and bulkier than some mid-layers, I think it outperforms them in harsher conditions. This has become one of my go to layers and I’m excited to use it more for the summer alpine season in Washington!
About the Gear Tester
Daniel currently works as a student manager for Grand Canyon Universities Outdoor Recreation Department as well as working at the school's climbing wall. Over the past two summers, He has guided with Peak 7 Adventures in Washington leading a 50-day outdoor expedition leadership course called the Bower Adventure Course (BAC). Daniel is a member of the Mountain Rescue Association and Inland Northwest Search and Rescue volunteer. You can connect with him on Instagram @conrad_daniel.